The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its exemption from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the Federal Register Wednesday. The change was prompted by the Budget Act of 2015, which amended the TCPA to create the exemptions for calls made to cell phones when collecting a debt owed to or guaranteed by the federal government.
CUNA believes the exemption fails to provide any significant relief to credit unions. CUNA urged the FCC to include both mortgage debt and Small Business Administration loans in the exemption, but those clarifications were not included in the final rule.
CUNA’s CompBlog examined what this exemption means for credit unions in August. Debt collection calls or texts fall under the exemption for federal debts if the consumer is delinquent at the time the call is made, or at an imminent risk of delinquency as a result of the terms or operation of the loan program itself, and in the 30 days before such an event.
It only applies to existing debts for which the United States is currently the owner of the guarantor of the debt. The FCC did not clarify which federal debts are included or excluded.
CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog examines the exemption in greater detail in a recent entry.